Osmeña is the patriarch of the prominent Osmeña family, which includes his son (former Senator Sergio Osmeña Jr.) and his grandsons (Senators Sergio Osmeña III and John Henry Osmeña), ex-Governor (Lito Osmeña and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña).
Early life and career
A Chinese-mestizo with some Spanish blood, Osmeña was born in Cebu to Juana Osmeña y Suico. He took his elementary education in the University of San Carlos and graduated in 1892. Osmeña continued his education in Manila, studying in San Juan de Letran College where he first met Manuel L. Quezon, a classmate of his. He took up law at the University of Santo Tomas and was second place in the bar examination in 1903.
Osmeña served on the war staff of General Emilio Aguinaldo as a courier and journalist. In 1900, he founded the Cebu newspaper, El Nuevo Día which lasted for three years.
In 1904, the American colonial administration appointed him governor of Cebu. Two years later he was elected governor of Cebu. While governor, he ran for election to the first Philippine Assembly of 1907 and was elected Speaker of that body. Osmeña was only 29 and already the highest-ranking Filipino official.
He and another provincial politician, Manuel L. Quezon of Tayabas, set up the Nacionalista Party as a foil to the Partido Federalista of Manila-based politicians. The two would engage in a rivalry for political dominance ever since.
Osmeña was elected an assemblyman, in 1907, and remained a member of the lower house until 1922. He was the country's vice president for two consecutive terms under the Philippine Commonwealth.
Osmeña was elected as vice-president of the Commonwealth in 1935, with Quezon as president. He was re-elected in 1941. When the Commonwealth government relocated in the US in exile, Osmeña went with Quezon.
Osmeña became president of the Commonwealth on Quezon's death in 1944. He returned to the Philippines the same year with General Douglas MacArthur and the liberation forces. After the war, Osmeña restored the Commonwealth government and the various executive departments. He continued the fight for Philippine independence.
For the presidential election of 1946, Osmeña refused to campaign, saying that the Filipino people knew of his record of 40 years of honest and faithful service. Nevertheless, he was defeated by Manuel Roxas, who won 54 percent of the vote and became the first president of the independent Republic of the Philippines.
War Cabinet 1944-45
On August 8, 1944, President Osmeña issued Executive Order 15-W reorganizing and consolidating the Executive Departments of the Commonwealth government. The reorganization of the government after it was reestablished on Philippine soil was undertaken with Executive Order No. 27, February 27, 1945.
|Secretary of Finance||Jaime Hernandez||1944–1945|
|Secretary of National Defense and Communications||Basilio Valdes||1944–1945|
|Secretary of Information and Public Relations||Carlos P. Romulo (concurrent capacity)||1944–1945|
|Secretary of Justice, Labor and Welfare||Mariano A. Eraña (acting capacity)||1944–1945|
|Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce||Manuel Nieto||1944–1945|
|Secretary to the President||Arturo Rotor||1944–1945|
|Resident Commissioner||Carlos P. Romulo||1944–1945|
|Budget and Finance Commissioner||Ismael Mathay||1944–1945|
|Judge Advocate General of the Army||Mariano Eraña||1944–1945|
|Economic Adviser||Urbano Zafra||1944–1945|
|Military Adviser||Alejandro Melchor||1944–1945|
Cabinet and Judicial Appointments 1945-46Executive Order No. 27, February 27, 1945 was issued upon the restoration of civilian authority to the government of the Commonwealth, and members of the new cabinet appointed on March 8, 1945. Subsequent renaming and mergers of departments have separate listings.
|Secretary of the Interior||Tomas Confesor||1945|
|Secretary of Finance and Reconstruction||Jaime Hernandez||1945–1946|
|Secretary of Justice, Agriculture and Commerce||Delfin Jaranilla||1945|
|Secretary of Justice||Ramon Quisumbing||1945–1946|
|Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce||Vicente Singson Encarnacion||1945–1946|
|Secretary of National Defense||Tomas Cabili||1945|
|Secretary of National Defense and Interior||Alfredo Montelibano||1945–1946|
|Secretary of Health and Public Welfare||Basilio Valdes||1945|
|Secretary of Public Instruction and Information||Francisco Benitez||1945|
|Secretary of Education||Francisco Benitez||1945–1946|
|Secretary of Public Works and Communications||Sotero Cabahug||1945–1946|
|Secretary of the Budget||Ismael Mathay||1944–1945|
|Secretary to the President||Jose S. Reyes||1945–1946|
|Secretary of Labor||Marcelo Aduru||1946|
|Resident Commissioner||Carlos P. Romulo||1945–1946|